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2019 NFL Draft prospect profile: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

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If the Giants don’t address right tackle in free agency, could Wisconsin’s David Edwards be an option?

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

There are few better things for an offensive lineman to have on his resume heading into the NFL draft than “Played offensive line for Wisconsin”.

When it comes to the offensive line, saying a lineman is a Wisconsin lineman carries with it all sorts of cache. It usually means that they are going to be big, strong, and well coached. That they are going to be tough and fundamentally sound -- both historically so in the run game, and more and more as pass protectors as well. There are few schools which have churned out quality offensive linemen quite like Wisconsin. It is just in the DNA of the school, and with the advent and success of the Air Raid and Spread Option offenses, not many schools run “Pro Style” offenses or blocking schemes.

That, plus a need at the position, makes Wisconsin right tackle David Edwards an intriguing name for the New York Giants.

Measurables

Pros

  • Prototypical build for an offensive tackle. Tall, long, and good thickness without much “bad” weight.
  • Very athletic. Easy mover and quick to work to the second level.
  • Impressive natural strength. Able to anchor against most bull rushes and move defenders in the running game.
  • Powerful hands to control and torque defenders.
  • Uses length well to run pass rushers around the pocket.
  • Typical Wisconsin offensive lineman. Well coached with a solid grounding in Pro Style blocking concepts.

Cons

  • Only three years experience at offensive tackle.
  • Footwork and knee bend can be inconsistent.
  • Hand placement can be inconsistent.
  • Occasionally appears to be a beat slow off the snap.
  • Doesn’t always fire off off the ball and into defenders.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

Scouts are mixed on Edwards. Several point out that he is far from a finished product, though because of his sheer size and the premium put on the tackle position he will likely still be a first- or second-rounder. Poor performances this season against BYU and Michigan (Michigan’s Chase Winovich and BYU’s Corbin Kaufusi both gave him trouble on the edge) have led some evaluators to question his stock. One veteran scout points to Edwards’s significant increase in size—he arrived in Madison as a 245-pound tight end and was up to 300 pounds by his redshirt freshman season—is now both his upside and his weakness. “He hasn’t been that size his whole life,” the scout says. “It’s like a point guard that grows six inches and is all of a sudden a center. It takes time to get the coordination where it once was, and it takes time to master the technique. He just needs that time to continue to develop, and I’m sure he will.”

- Khalyn Kahler (Sports Illustrated)

Does He Fit The Giants?

Assuming there is still a hole at right tackle when the 2019 NFL draft rolls around, and Edwards lasts until the Giants’ pick in the second round -- yes, yes he would fit the Giants.

Edwards is far from a finished product at right tackle. He has only played the position for three seasons, and was an option quarterback in high school before being recruited to Wisconsin as a tight end (where he was quickly transitioned to offensive tackle). Beyond that, he is still in the process of “owning” his body. He gained 60 pounds in the year between high school and his first action on the Wisconsin offensive line as a red-shirt freshman. And combined with learning a completely new position, he still has some developing to be done.

However, the upside and ceiling with Edwards is obviously high. He still moves like the option quarterback turned tight end he was four years ago, but does so at well over 300 pounds and with evident power. He is easily able to mirror speed rushers, anchor against power rushers, and move to block for zone runs or screen passes. He is also a people-mover in the run game, creating openings in a variety of blocking schemes.

His floor is high as well, having received some of the best offensive line coaching available at Wisconsin. He flashes the technique needed to succeed at the next level, and the final hurdle to being a long-term answer is learning to put it all together on a play-to-play basis. Once he is able to do that, Edwards could be as good as any tackle in the draft.